Vessel Insurance: Iran Can Easily Bypass Embargoes

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Monday September 17, 2012

An Iranian insurance official has said the country "can easily bypass" insurance related embargoes levelled at it by Western governments, the country's FARS News Agency (FNA) reported today.

"Most of the sanctions are imposed against the oil industry and we have taken the precautionary measures against possible dangers and damages and insured our oil tankers," said Rahim Mosaddeq, the Deputy Head for Planning and Development of the Central Insurance of the Islamic Republic of Iran (Bimeh Markazi).

FNA said there are currently 25 insurance companies in Iran, and all but one are privately owned.

European sanctions in effect since July 1, 2012 mean ship owners found carrying Iranian product, either as fuel or cargoes, will lose their P&I Cover from European clubs, which account for approximately 90% of the world's shipping tonnage.

Some countries, such as India, who have been granted a waiver by the U.S. and are still able to import Iranian oil, have been providing their own insurance to vessels although Shipping Corporation of India Ltd. (SCI) Chairman and Managing Director Mr S. Hajara said in August that it had "proved to be most inadequate."

But the Islamic Republic has been vocal in its desire to also grant insurance to foreign vessels using or carrying its product.

Earlier this month, The Chairman of the Iran Insurance Company, Javad Sahamian, said Tehran will provide insurance cover for any oil tanker carrying Iranian crude oil but did not give details on the level of cover it was offering.

The head of Iran's Bimeh Markazi, Seyed Mohammad Karimi, was quoted as saying they "can provide insurance cover for foreign vessels in Iranian waters if approved by the oil and commerce ministries."

Ship & Bunker reported on Friday that an investigation revealed Iran is hiding millions of barrels of crude oil from Western sanctions along the coast of the East Malaysian port of Labuan using vessels tied to Titan Petrochemicals Group Ltd. [HKG:1192] (Titan).